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State eyes St. Louis Public Schools, but no takeover in sight

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis – Missouri's education commissioner has appointed a special committee to try to solve problems in the St. Louis Public Schools.

Kent King made the announcement Thursday at a state board of education meeting.

King wants the five-member committee to clarify the district's financial situation and help ease tensions. Mayor Francis Slay had asked the state to take over the district.

But Department of Secondary and Elementary Education spokesman Jim Morris says the district's finances don't warrant that.

Morris says the committee's priorities include helping get the school year started on-time and addressing long-term issues in the district.

Former Washington University Chancellor William Danforth and civil rights activist Frankie Freeman will lead the five-member team.

"I support the State Board of Education's decision to call on the monitoring committee co-chairs to study the district and commend their efforts to quickly assess how best to restore stability to the district and support the students, parents and educators," added Gov. Matt Blunt, in a statement. Blunt neither endorse or rejected the idea of a state takeover when the idea was first floated earlier this month.


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